Intelligent Design as Science Part 3 Evidence for Design in the Universe

I will share a few factors that have to be exact or life on earth would be impossible.  Remember there are over 122 features that must be perfect.

  • The number of star companions must be right.  The sun must be the only star in our solar system.  If there were two suns the orbit of earth and the other planets would be disrupted and life would be impossible.
  • The sun must be the right age.  It must be middle-aged, about 5 billion years old. This is its most stable phase of burning.  If it was a young star (first billion years) it would increase its luminosity rapidly because it’s burning by gravitational collapse, not nuclear energy. The temperature would be erratic. On the other hand, an older star would burn by more exotic nuclear reactions, also destroying its stability.
  • The sun must be the right color.  Photosynthesis depends on a star that is roughly yellow in color.  Photosynthesis is most effective with a sun that has a surface temperature of 5400°, like our sun.  Stars a little bluer or a little redder won’t fuel photosynthesis and therefore, you won’t get plants for animals to eat.
  • Solar luminosity must be precise.  The earth is very delicately balanced between a runaway greenhouse (Venus) and a runaway freeze-up (Mars).  Venus has a major greenhouse problem.  If you increase the temperature on the surface of the earth slightly, more water vapor is released into the atmosphere.  This increases the greenhouse effect, increasing the temperature causing more water vapor to be released.  On the other hand, if we are talking about a planet like Mars the issue is freezing up.  The lower the temperature the more ice forms.  Ice reflects the sun’s radiation, continuing to lower the temperature, causing more ice to form, reflecting more radiation, causing more freeze-up.  Life is impossible on Venus and Mars.  However, what we find in the relationship between the sun and the earth is this incredible balance between too hot and too cold.  Here’s how the balance works.  The sun gets hotter as it ages.  Over 3.8 billion years ago when life was allegedly introduced to this earth, it lowered the earth’s temperature. What we have discovered is the Earth’s atmosphere is changed as a result of the introduction of life.  The decreasing temperature caused by life being introduced in growing stages of complexity, exactly counterbalances the increase in luminosity of the sun. The sun gets hotter and hotter, but the earth gets cooler and cooler.  A decrease in CO2 and water vapor means a decrease in temperature, the opposite of a greenhouse effect.  Again we see what appears to be incredible design.
  • The earth’s rotation period must be right.  If you slow it down, the nights and days are too long, creating temperature extremes.  If you speed it up (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus are all rapid rotators), wind storms would be extreme (1000 mph. on Jupiter).
  • The tilt of our axis must be precise.  The earth’s axis is tilted 23°.  If it was straight up and down the equator would be hotter and the poles colder, disrupting the climate.  A greater tilt would expose the pole to the sun all the time (like Neptune).[1]

What are the chances natural processes could produce even one planet, in the entire universe, capable of producing life?  First, you have the problem of getting the right planet, so life is even possible (remember over 122 factors have to be perfect). Second, you have the issue of life coming from non-life.

Harold Morowitz did the calculations on the simplest possible living system.  He concluded there was less than 1 chance in 10 followed by 138,000 zeros  to have the perfect planet for life and for life to come from non-life.  In other words it is statistically impossible for life to arise by chance.  If it’s statistically impossible that life could have happened by chance, it is statistically certain it was the result of intelligent design, because there are only two options.

When sharing with a skeptic point to all the obvious design of the universe.  A person has to exercise incredible blind faith to believe the earth was positioned perfectly for life and that life could arrive from non-life.  Point out the sun has to be by itself in our solar system, it has to be yellow, the rotation and tilt of the earth has to be perfect.  Mention there are over 122 factors that have to be just right in order for life to exist on earth.  In my mind, the case for design is obvious.

Remember the original argument (Part 2):

  1. Every design had a designer
  2. The universe has highly complex design
  3. Therefore, the universe had a Designer

The incredible complexity and design of the universe supports premise #2. If premise #1 is obvious, then we are led to the conclusion the universe had a designer.

I have more evidence to share to further strengthen premise #2.

Go to part 4


[1] All 6 factors from Greg Koukl’s audio teaching, “Why I am not an Evolutionist.”

 

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